photo by: Duncan Kendall

October 31, 2015

HOPE Crew Helps Weather the Storm

New Jersey Youth Help Restore a Park Service Building Damaged by Super Storm Sandy

  • More: HOPE Crew
  • By: Tom Wall
  • Photography: Duncan Kendall

In 2012, when Super Storm Sandy devastated the East Coast, one of the states hit hardest was New Jersey. Located on a small coastal outlet on the northeast tip of the state, the Sandy Hook Unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area is home to many historic National Park Service buildings which were damaged by Sandy.

Building 26 was the site of a restoration project undertaken by HOPE Crew. Members from the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg removed and built masonry posts along the porch floor, under the watchful eye of preservation expert Guy Hembling. The building, headquarters for the Park Service Unit, had been damaged to the extent that NPS staff were unable to walk on the porch en route to meetings.

This summer, corpsmembers began a project repairing the porch to provide appropriate access to NPS once again. It was a necessary, and meaningful, project for these young people as they learned about preservation.

Take a look below to explore the project via the photography of Duncan Kendall. You can see the site itself, some of the work in detail, and a closer look at a couple of the corpsmembers hard at work.

“It wasn't just about the porch, or the Park Service building...corpsmembers learned about the region's history, geography, and wildlife. It was a well-rounded experience for everyone. To have them immersed in an area so heavily damaged gave them an acute understanding of what went on three years ago with Super Storm Sandy. It gave them a newfound understanding, the ability to directly relate, and have more empathy for others.”

Michael Muckle, Director of the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg

“We actually get the privilege to get to come here and work on this building. We get to learn about our history, and learn those things to make us better employees as well. Plus, we get to be at the Jersey Shore for the summer, getting paid to do all this. How could you not appreciate that?”

Khalil, Corpsmember, New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg

The project at Gateway National Recreation Area was one of the more than 50 that have been completed so far by the HOPE Crew program.

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Tom Wall was the associate manager of Community Outreach. His background includes television production, journalism, nonprofit communications, and marketing. Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Tom is a graduate of the George Washington University, with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication.

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